The wickedness of two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, was so evil that God heard the cries of the righteous to judge them. He sent down two Angels to go to these cities for their judgment. As soon as they entered the city of Sodom and stayed with Lot and his family, all people from the towns, young and old, gathered together at Lot's home to rape the two Angels. The people were so wicked that even though the Angels physically blinded them, they continued to grope their way through in an attempt to rape them. Lot offered his two daughters as a sacrifice to protect the Angels. That was not enough for the wicked to pursue their desires to rape "other flesh." God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone while taking out Lot and his family. God had mercy on Lot and his family to save them from destruction. However, Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.
Then, in exile, Lot's two daughters had sex with their father without his knowledge to continue his lineage as they thought there were no other men on earth to give them offspring. This crazy storyline is worth knowing, and this is happening again with the growing wickedness where God will judge again.
Chapter 18 is about divine visitations and the power of intercession. It begins with Abraham being visited by three heavenly visitors, Angels sent by God. This divine visitation shows the willingness of God to engage with humanity and exemplifies the importance of hospitality. Abraham, unaware of their true identity initially, extends a gracious welcome to these strangers, offering them food and shelter. In doing so, he demonstrates the virtue of hospitality and unknowingly entertains the Angels.
God reveals His intention to investigate the outcry against the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham boldly intercedes on behalf of the righteous within these cities, exemplifying his deep concern for Lot, his nephew. His plea is a testament to his faith and understanding of God's character as just and merciful. Through this dialogue, we learn that God is open to negotiation and values the intercessory prayers of His faithful followers.
Chapter 19 is about divine judgment and the consequences of sin. Sodom and Gomorrah are two cities full of wickedness and sin, while Abraham is deemed righteous. Lot has made his home in Sodom. The Angels come to Lot's home and reveal their true purpose—to rescue Lot and his family from the impending destruction of the cities. Lot's hospitality mirrors his uncle's as he offers shelter to the heavenly visitors. However, the residents of Sodom display their extreme wickedness by demanding the Angels be handed over to rape them. These wicked cities show how far they sunk into depravity to demand that the Angels be given to them for vile purposes. This could also highlight that the humans attempted to have relations with divine beings, Angels, i.e., "other flesh." This is the second time God took judgment to wipe out an entire class of people. The first was the great flood, which wiped out all humanity except Noah and his family.
As the Angels lead Lot and his family out of the doomed cities, they give an explicit command not to look back. Lot's wife, however, disobeys, resulting in her becoming a pillar of salt. God always took immediate judgment in the Old Testament to showcase the consequences of disobedience and attachment to a sinful life. It also shows us the importance of following God's guidance without hesitation.
Genesis 18 and 19 teach us that:
Hospitality in welcoming and helping others, even strangers, is a moral virtue God blesses.
Intercession in our prayers can make a difference between life and death, blessings or curses. Thus, believers should boldly pray to God on behalf of others and trust in His justice and mercy.
The consequences of sin led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and judgment on Lot's wife looking back. All sin has consequences, and our choices have potential repercussions.
Obedience is demonstrated by Lot's wife's disobeying God's instructions. Without reservation, we should trust God's guidance and not look back to our sinful past.
These chapters underscore the significance of faith, hospitality, intercession, and obedience in the context of divine intervention and judgment. We are given valuable insights into our lives to make godly choices that align with God's righteousness and faithfulness.
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